After the Fire Phone’s not so excellent performance and Amazon’s staggering losses in the September quarter, the tech giant has unveiled the Fire TV stick, a media-streaming device which plugs into a TV set much like a USB stick and lets users browse anything from music to videos from Netflix, Hulu and Pandora.
The Fire TV stick seeks to extend its reach into customer’s digital lives by streaming content from Amazon’s Prime service, as well as other providers such as Showtime, Spotify or Netflix. According to Amazon’s announcements, the device will be released on the 19th of November, although eager users are free to order it immediately.
Costing $39, the Fire TV Stick plugs into the high-definition port of your TV and comes equipped with a remote control. It mirrors media content and application from phones or tablets in addition to streaming content, Amazon statements said.
With the introduction of the Fire TV stick, it’s clear that competition with home-media services is stepping up. Following Amazon’s introduction of the Fire TV box this year, the Fire TV stick seems to attempt to compete with Google’s plug-in device, the Chromecast, which retails at a price of $35 and tops Amazon’s electronics best sellers. The Chromecast has also topped other Roku Inc. and Apple Inc. offerings.
“The Fire TV Stick will be a natural progression of the Fire TV,”
Morningstar Inc. analyst, RJ Hottovy said in a statement.
“They will have more success among core Amazon Prime users, but it will be more difficult switching customers away.”
Amazon’s Fire TV Stick is able to directly sync with the Fire TV box and is expected to drive more $99 annual subscriptions to Prime, thus offering free of charge fast shipping as well as instant video streaming access.
The tech giant is offering a 30-day membership to Prime free of charge for every Fire TV Stick purchase. In addition, current Prime members also have bonuses: for the first two days, they can preorder the Fire TV stick for just $19.
Amazon describes its device as being more powerful than Google’s Chromecast, however, after last week’s debacle of an earnings announcement, when the Fire Phone proved to be a disappointment, many question whether the company’s attempts at adding more products would indeed bring innovation to its future.
The tech giant’s shares have already gone down 0.5 percent on Monday morning, indicating that the market no longer trusts Amazon as it did in the past.